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Megbil Almejaibel
Professor Debbi Mercado
English 113B
Drug Use and Poor Youth in Los Angeles
Drug use is a common worldwide issue that affected many people’s
lives especially the youth. Poverty is one of the reasons that makes young
people get into drugs and whether use or sell them. Poverty force them to
use drugs or anything similar because it is an easy way to live, even though
if it’s against the rules they have nothing to lose in their lives. In Los Angeles
there is a great number of young people who deal with drugs every day for
living, but this should be dealt with from the government because it
threatens everyone’s life. Even though drug use is a serious problem
especially with young people in Los Angeles, but there should be more efforts
to try to decrease the number of young addicts which will be accomplished
by offering jobs for them, media awareness and punish who gets involved in
these kind of problems.
First, drug use is very dangerous to people, especially youth, because
it destroys their brains and let them do things out of their will and these
things can be murdering, stealing, sexually abusing, etc. There are a large
number of people dying from using drugs and according to the article “Drug

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use trends in California” it says that 4,178 persons died in California in 2007
(1). It is a really scary number that the government should look into it and
give it full attention. In Los Angeles, there are many homeless people living
in the streets and many of them are young which make them more
vulnerable to alcohol and drug use. These young homeless people don’t
have jobs or homes to live in during to their harsh life and the difficulties that
they have been in. Most of them are trying to make money in any way, so
they are resorting to selling drugs because it is the easiest way to live a hard
life like theirs. In my opinion, it is hard for them to live in poverty alone and
survive without using drugs because of the lack of maturity that prevents
them from knowing the danger of drugs.
Young addicts in Los Angeles need help to get the drugs out of their
bodies and need someone to be on there side and support them to get rid of
it. They really need the encouraging to be able to look at their lives from a
different angel, that way the benefit will come back to them and their
country. Unfortunately, they didn’t find enough help from the government
due to the limitation of alcohol and drug services in Los Angeles, because
according to an article written by Rosenthal, Doreen et al, called “Drug Use
Among Homeless Young People in Los Angeles and Melbourne” which states
that alcohol and drug treatment services are limited for young people in Los
Angeles county. According to the article, young people have little access to
detoxification and drug treatment that were dedicated for young adults and
especially for people under 18 years old (P.297). If it is hard for adults to

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recover from alcohol and drugs’ effects then it is obvious how hard for young
addicts to get rid of drugs. In order to control them and get them clean from
drugs, they should find treatments and support, anything to try to hold on
with. The government should focus more on young addicts because they are
the future of the country. If the young addicts didn’t have a good care from
their own country they will lead their country to some serious and bigger
problems in the future such as turning their country to a place for drugs and
making it really dangerous and unsafe country to live in.
Prescription drugs are very common nowadays for those addicts who
cannot afford money to buy drugs to fulfil their needs. It is an easy way to
get drugs in a legal way, so nobody can say or do anything against them. I
find it dangerous because many young people can do it and that doesn’t help
reducing the number of young addicts all around the world and especially in
Los Angeles. In the article written by Lankenau, et al. called “Misuse of
Prescription and Illicit Drugs among High-risk Young Adults in Los Angeles
and New York” proves that “the prescription drugs in Los Angeles and New
York are consumed as a part of a repertoire of misuse including prescription
drugs and illicit drugs” (P.22). This has become a primary substance of
abuse with illicit drugs among young adults living in Los Angeles. In my
point of view I think that there should be a special inspection on the
pharmacies and hospitals that give these kind of drugs to their patients just
to make sure that it is for curing people not killing them. It is important to fix
the source of the problem when we try to fix the problem itself, so when

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pharmacies and hospitals are under a monthly or weekly inspection from the
government, then as a result, the number of young addicts will decrease for
sure. Also, the government can state that the prescription drugs are allowed
to use them only in the hospital, this way they don’t have to worry about it.
Drugs can affect people’s behavior very badly and that can lead to
killing or suicidal ideas. Actually, drug use is linked to many problems like
depression, violence and sex work especially with teenagers. I have an
experience with one of my friends who was a drug addict, as a result of his
addiction he started to be more violence especially with his parents. He
used to hit them and even someday he threatened them with a knife and
almost got them killed. As a result, he died under the influence of drugs by
committing suicide in front of his family. We heard a lot of incidents about
young people’s violence or teenagers’ early depression and how it effects
their lives by using drugs, so it is one of the reasons that helps spread these
kind of problems. In the article written by Kristin Ferguson, et al. called “A
Comparison of Addiction and Transience among Street Youth: Los Angeles,
California, Austin, Texas, and St. Louis, Missour” it is stated that “compared
street youth in ‘‘cruise’’ areas of Los Angeles County (locations characterized
by a high prevalence of drug use, sex work, and homeless services) with
youth in non-cruise areas of this metropolitan area. Youth in cruise areas
were older, had been homeless longer, and were more likely to have used
community services and shelters compared to youth in non-cruise areas”
(P.297). I can understand that Los Angeles is a good place for youth

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homeless to live in and use the community services. This is the reason why
they are a lot in Los Angeles especially in the downtown. This way young
homeless addicts are more dangerous than any other addicts because young
homeless people are exposed to almost everyone in the street so they can
spread everything they have very easily, which make them a priority to give
them the help they need starting by at least giving them the chance to be
cured without any charges.
The way I see it is that the problem is combined between the
government and the poor young drug users living in Los Angeles. There
should be some solutions that can help both sides and create a better future
for the country. In my opinion, I think that the government should offer jobs
for every young homeless and make it as a priority because they have the
energy considering their life conditions and their age to work very hard and
even better than normal people, and by jobs I mean any job for instance
working in a restaurant or cleaning houses, etc. In this way, there will leave
no excuse for those addicts to use drugs anymore and will encourage them
to build their lives after being destroyed, and step by step they will get
better and better. Also, there should be some strict rules even on young
drug users to make them fear the law and not even think about using drugs
ever again. For example, for those who use drugs they should go to jail or
should face a serious punishment to scare them from doing it again. Media
is very effective nowadays on many people, so why not using it to aware
people from the danger of drugs. Most people use social media like,

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Instagram, Facebook and Twitter everyday so it will be a really useful source
for the government to use it as a weapon to stop and prevent people from
using drugs and getting rid of it. On the other side, Young addicts who live in
poverty should obey the rules in Los Angeles and take any job that the
government offers for them in order to step at least on one foot and start a
new life. This will help the government to decrease the number of poor
people in Los Angeles and the number of young addicts as well. This is a
serious problem that should be dealt with like any other problem like gun
violence as an example.
Drug use has gone so far in Los Angeles and needs to be stopped in
any possible way. Many efforts tried to lessen the drug use among youth
living in poverty but still the problem hasn’t been solved yet and the number
is increasing every year. This social problem has been a health concern in all
around the world and needs to be stopped before it’s too late. Drug misuse
is connected with many dangerous practices like, polydrug use, sexual risk
behaviors and injection drug use. I have suggested some solutions that can
help build a clean future for those young addicts by offering them any jobs to
let them live their lives and enjoy it like everyone else. Likewise, those
addicts should follow the law and never think about crossing it. I believe that
if they cooperate with the government this problem will be gone completely
in a really short time. Other than that there will be a huge problem and
many people will die because of the drug use and its effects on the society.

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Drug is a weapon that can destroy a whole society, so even you control it or
the future of your society will be affected and destroyed.

Work Cited
"CALIFORNIA DRUG CONTROL UPDATE - The White House." Web. 2 May 2016.
Ferguson, Kristin M., Jina Jun, Kimberly Bender, Sanna Thompson, and David
Pollio. "A Comparison of Addiction and Transience among Street Youth: Los
Angeles, California, Austin, Texas, and St. Louis, Missouri." Community Ment
Health J Community Mental Health Journal 46.3 (2009): 296-307. Web.
Lankenau, Stephen E., Sheree M. Schrager, Karol Silva, Alex Kecojevic,
Jennifer Jackson Bloom, Carolyn Wong, and Ellen Iverson. "Misuse of
Prescription and Illicit Drugs among High-risk Young Adults in Los Angeles
and New York." Journal of Public Health Research J Public Health Res 1.1
(2012): 6. Web.
Rosenthal, Doreen, Shelley Mallett, Norweeta Milburn, and Mary Jane
Rotheram-Borus. "Drug Use Among Homeless Young People in Los Angeles
and Melbourne." Journal of

Adolescent Health 43.3 (2008): 296-305. Web.